Most people we know are striving to be somewhere in their careersa place they dream about and one that brings them closer to the kind of achievements they want in life. We work so hard, even on difficult days, we put a smile on and hope that the tasks at hand will make us forget everything else. Sometimes, those of us who are in high-demanding professions stay up a little late; sometimes, we shorten the lunch break. While we are hustling to make it to the top, can we do so without developing good leadership skills? With only a few top positions and more people vying for them, how do you cut through the clutter? Just exhibiting good work is not enough to occupy a higher position; you must be good at managing a team and being a guiding light for them. So while you are working hard, work smart as well and demonstrate good leadership skills. Heres how you can develop them. Be proactive If you are in a place where you are not a leader yet but want to be one, you must draw a path that will help you meet your goal. A leader has to lead, they have to be proactive, take initiative and ownership of things. Exhibiting that you can do all of this, will improve your chances of taking a senior position. However, when you are taking the initiative, come up with a plan or simply convey to your manager that you have a budding idea that you would like to explore with them. Let your manager guide you in stirring things up for good. But do not take responsibility when you are truly not ready for it.Speak up If you observe people occupying leadership positions, they all have one thing in commonthey speak up. Their voice, their tone, and their words command respect and attention. You will have to work on two thingsyour public speaking skills and the courage to speak up. It is not the same as interrupting people when they are talking; that is just bad manners. In a professional environment, speak, but not by silencing others. Speak firmly but respectfully. Say no, disagree and deny things but professionally. Be sweet but dont let anyone walk over you and never be afraid to put forth your ideas, even if you feel you are surrounded by senior professionals. Listen, Observe, Inspire A good leader at work has efficient people skills. It means they can recognise each employees strengths and use them optimally. They know how each team member gets motivated to give their best. They know how to diffuse a difficult situation and how to make the team feel connected to the bigger work goals they have. To develop these skills, you will have to listen to people, observe them and really understand what they need from their superiors.Find out your leadership style Not every authority figure has the same leadership style. Some people like to give their team some tough love and help them build certain skills faster by increasing the pressure and the stakes. Some people follow a democratic leadership model in which their teammates can offer their suggestions and feedback. Some leaders act as mentors and coaches, taking a great effort in helping their people learn. You will have to decide what kind of leader you want to be and develop your skills accordingly. Set a role model While your team will look up to you, why dont you find a good leader in your company to learn from? Observe them but you dont have to mirror them. Find your leadership style, analyse what you like and dont like about theirs. That way, you can learn from not just them but also their mistakes.